The Green Alleyway initiative is taking root in Montreal’s Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie borough.
More than 118 corridors have been repurposed by residents. By the end of summer, officials are hoping to bring that total to 122.
“I love my green space, I love it,” said Annik Hamel, who, along with her neighbours, transformed a nearby alley into a garden walkway with log benches.
Residents say the green spaces — about 69 kilometres worth — reduce the urban heat island effect, while increasing wildlife and insects in the area.
Hamel calls it an “oasis,” noting it gives children a safe place to play.
“It is bringing nature into the city. It’s good for the soul,” she said.
Maire-Claude Lavoie, who lives next to Hamel, says the alleyway has created a sense of community and, “by meeting all the neighbors, you feel much more secure together.”
Simon Octeau, assistant director of Regroupement des éco-quartiers, works with boroughs to plan and create the alleyways.
He says though the greenery reduces the number of roads, cars will always have places to drive.
Octeau says over 400 alleys are now considered green alleyways — a total of 15 per cent in Montreal.